319 Coffee Roasters

These coffee beans came roughly 5 weeks ago. Interestingly enough, the front label doesn’t show that it’s from 319 Coffee Roaster, but the back label does (which I don’t have a picture of). The beans are still up for sale on their website that show the same sticker. I hypothesize that because the bag in the online store already has the roaster logo, the bag I received must have been part of a bulk packaged kind. Regardless I was excited to try beans from Honduras. I haven’t had too many beans from Honduras.

Opening the bag, I’m greeted with a subdued aromas of berries and chocolate. Making my latte, the first sip had this smoothy velvety chocolate milk flavor. There was also a slight nutty/toffee after taste with each sip. I also tasted a hint of sweetness with each subsequent taste.

Let’s start understanding each other…

With all the recent issues going on in the US from BLM to the current Anti-Asian sentiment, I stumbled across this short (too short in my opinion) YouTube video that brought three Asian-Americans and three Black Americans to discuss some statements regarding both racial identities in America. I think this type of discussion is needed more amongst the American minorities. I believe that EVERY PERSON has a degree of RACIAL BIAS that might not be readily apparent but it exists as a product of culture, family, “group expectations” or personal experience. The video posed 6 different question for discussions that I think tell a pretty good story for anyone who answers them honestly. In the video, the participants are asked whether or not they agree/disagree with the statement. Those that agree would first sit and speak their mind followed by the ones who disagree.

Questions asked:

  • I care about being accepted by white America.
  • I have stereotyped the other side (Black Americans or Asian Americans).
  • COVID-19 has hit my community harder.
  • I face more racism from the opposite side (Black Americans or Asian Americans) than I do from white people.
  • Asian Americans are more advantaged than Black Americans.
  • Black and Asian Americans co-exist peacefully.

Here are my answers:

I care about being accepted by white America. I agree. I’ve come to recognize that not being in power is the worst position to be in. A person is unable to establish any basic self survival when constantly bullied by the ones “in power.” Animal nature has shown that the most basic instinctive behavior is to survive. When constantly under threat of being pulled over/killed by cops, under threat of being homeless for not having enough money to rent, under threat of starvation… being “under threat” is not the best place to be at. Unfortunately the ones currently “in power” happen to be white, old America accustomed to the prejudicial era of the 1940s to the modern age. If you think about it, people who are now in their 70s were born in 1950s. Many witnessed the Civil Rights movements and were probably influenced by the parties promoting equality and racism. If you think about even more, there are still people alive who may have marched with Martin Luther King and even participated in the racial upheaval of the 50s and 60s! US hasn’t even gone through a full cycle of where people living today can only read about historical events instead of hearing stories from their grand parents. So yes… being accepted by white America is very important.

I have stereotyped the other side (Black Americans or Asian Americans). I probably have. I remember my parents saying something negative about Black Americans in response to the rioters breaking and taking items during the 1992 LA riots. It stuck with me for awhile to always have to be careful around Black Americans (lock the door, make sure you’re in a well lit place, don’t talk balk, be polite, be prepared for anything bad, etc…). As a kid, I barely interacted with blacks. I knew a few only by name because they were superstar athletes in high school (1 got a scholarship to play football in college) which also kind of matched the stereotype of blacks being better athletes. It wasn’t until the workplace environment did I have a black coworker. However by then, I had adopted a mantra “to strive to follow the golden rule” which meant that I treated the coworker like any other coworker.

COVID-19 has hit my community harder. I don’t think COVID-19 discriminates. One thing about Asians though… they are used to wearing a mask. So the community spread was much slower overall once it was known that this is as easily transmissible like the 2002 SAR outbreak in Hong Kong. The usage of masks slowed the outbreak significantly.

I face more racism from the opposite side (Black Americans or Asian Americans) than I do from white people. I think at a population level or community level, Asians are as racists as Whites are. I suspect most of the racism though comes from the media manipulation portraying Blacks in a negative light (ie lazy, welfare, thieves, gansters, etc). How many of the early Hollywood shows/movies depicted Blacks as respectable upper income families? I can recall at The Cosby Show portraying Black Americans as normal as possible where almost all the other shows/movies show Blacks as thugs, gangsters and other negative stereotypes. This media portrayal definitely brain-washed the older generational Asians and probably new Asian immigrants too. The irony of this is that Asians probably experienced the same racist behavior as Blacks did. But being Asian, they put their head down, bore the pain/humiliation, and moved on. This act of submission contributed to the “model minority myth.”

Asian Americans are more advantaged than Black Americans. I have mixed feelings about this statement. I think for the most part this is true. Collectively, Asian Americans tend to be more advantaged. However, I’ve noticed that Black Americans might actually be more advantaged than immigrants that are fleeing their Asian country due to war, political unrest, religious persecution, etc.

Black and Asian Americans co-exist peacefully. I agree with this statement. However it’s not because of mutual respect but more that each community prefers to mingle amongst their own people. They are peaceful because both groups prefer to not get involved in each other’s “business.” When they need to interact, they act with caution to minimize antagonizing the other group.

So… What are your thoughts to these questions?

Luminous Coffee

Slowly trying to catching up with the coffee subscription. Luminous Coffee sent beans from Kenya. According to the website, Gatuya Coffee Factory is a washing station where local farmers in the region bring in their coffee harvest for processing.

These beans had a subtle berry and chocolate aroma upon first opening the bag. Grinding the beans and making my latte, I taste a toffee, peachy and nutty flavor. I find it interesting that my second sip had a more blueberry flavor instead of peach. After making lattes on subsequent days, I find that peach flavor to be more pronounced usually on the first sip morphing into a blueberry flavor later. It should be noted though, I had a slight cough during this time so that could also be affecting my tastes too.

Verve Coffee Roaster

Verve Coffee Roaster is one of California’s coffee roasting companies based out of Santa Cruz. These are single origin beans from Ethiopia. Unlike other Ethiopian beans, there is a unique subtleness to this bag. I have had lattes made from Verve beans before at the small coffee shops.

Opening the bag, there’s a faint citrus and nutty aroma. Overall the aromas were very subdued and that gave me a slight concern that the beans might be too old. Pushing forward and making my latte, the taste of the latte wasn’t very impressive. The latte had a “normal” taste. Many of the strong flavors associated with coffee are not present in the latte. Instead, I get this consistent grain/wheat taste with every sip. Is this a result of the roast?